After suffering one of its heaviest defeats in recent times, Maccabi Haifa hopes to bounce back when it visits Hapoel Eilat in BSL action on Sunday night.
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Haifa suffered a 39-point drubbing (87-48) at Khimki Moscow in the Eurocup Last 32 last week, falling to 1-1 in Group K. The heavy defeat came on the back of some encouraging performances, with Haifa registering its third win in its past four BSL games last Sunday, beating Bnei Herzliya 89-84 at Romema Arena to improve to 9-6.
Forward Brian Randle starred in the win over Herzliya after returning from an injury layoff, and there was at least one positive for the Greens in Moscow last Wednesday, with point guard Moran Roth playing 17 minutes in his second game back from a knee injury that resulted in a one-month absence.
Despite the embarrassing defeat in Russia, Haifa coach Danny Franco did his best to remain upbeat.
“After 30 games this season, we know what we are worth,” he said. “We will put this game behind us, learn what we can from it and focus on the encounter against Hapoel Eilat.”
Eilat has been extremely erratic this season, edging over .500 (8-7) last week with an 84-78 win at Barak Netanya.
Maccabi Tel Aviv (10-4) will be expecting to notch its sixth straight BSL victory and 14th consecutive triumph in all competitions when it hosts Hapoel Gilboa/Galil (7-8) on Sunday.
Maccabi only barely scrapped past the reeling Maccabi Ashdod last week, with the latter dropping to its eighth defeat in a row. Ashdod (2-13), which has lost 13 of its past 14 games, visits Bnei Herzliya (5-10) on Sunday.
On Monday, league-leader Hapoel Jerusalem (12-3) visits Hapoel Holon (8-7), Hapoel Tel Aviv (10-5) goes to Ironi Ness Ziona (8-6) and Maccabi Rishon Lezion (4-11) hosts Netanya (6-9).